External Hard Drive

Tutor

External Hard Drive

I have done some searching and I know that you can not add a external hard drive to the DVR.  I have seen post as far back as 2008 wishing for this.  Anyone know if this is in the works?

Message 1 of 56 (44,151 Views)
Professor

Re: External Hard Drive

There were questions about it in a Uverse customer survey that I took within the last few months, but no official or unofficial release date on it yet.

Message 2 of 56 (43,476 Views)
Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive

I do not expect this anytime soon. 
Message 3 of 56 (43,476 Views)
Tutor

Re: External Hard Drive

the big problem with enabling this, I was told, is that if it were enabled, you'd be able to order something on On Demand, and keep it since you could connect your computer to the hard drive.

 

BUT the guy told me the front USB port on the Cisco IPN4320 works. hasn't worked for me yet!

Message 4 of 56 (43,476 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: External Hard Drive

It only gives power, there is no data capability thru the USB port. :smileywink:


Chris

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Message 5 of 56 (43,476 Views)
Tutor

Re: External Hard Drive

As far as On Demand there are a ton of ways they can stop people doing that.  Both of my cable DVRs let you connect an external harddrive and they had On Demand too....

 

Just more excuses from a company more interested in expanding to new markets then making customers happy....

Message 6 of 56 (43,476 Views)

Re: External Hard Drive

Most DVRs I have seen that supports external hard drives have eSATA ports on them, and being that the U-verse DVR doesn't have an eSATA port, it would either need to be a USB hard drive (I think USB is too slow to support real time video, so the internal hard drive would need to buffer it before being sent to the external drive) or a network hard drive, and the DVR would have to be directed to the hard drive (by inputting an IP or MAC address on the DVR)

 

On top of that, to keep the recorded video from being copied to a PC (and probably to a DVD-R, even though some other DVRs allow that), the video would have to be encrypted specifically for the DVR, and the hard drive may need to have a special partition and/or formatting for the DVR


mibrnsurg wrote:

It only gives power, there is no data capability thru the USB port. :smileywink:


Chris

____________________________________________________________________

Please NO SD stretch-o-vision or 480 SD HD Channels
1-866-912-8216 for TS to avoid Mr. Voice Recognition
Your Results May Vary, In My Humble Opinion
I Call It Like I See It, Simply a U-verse user, nothing more


I think that the front USB port has potential for data transfer, and that a simple update could be made to allow data transfer over the USB port, but that either Windows CE or Microsoft Mediaroom blocks the use of the USB port in some way, so being that data transfer is blocked, it can only be used for power

 

Message 7 of 56 (43,476 Views)
Guru

Re: External Hard Drive

 


mikedamirault wrote:
Most DVRs I have seen that supports external hard drives have eSATA ports on them, and being that the U-verse DVR doesn't have an eSATA port, it would either need to be a USB hard drive (I think USB is too slow to support real time video, so the internal hard drive would need to buffer it before being sent to the external drive) or a network hard drive, and the DVR would have to be directed to the hard drive (by inputting an IP or MAC address on the DVR)

 

On top of that, to keep the recorded video from being copied to a PC (and probably to a DVD-R, even though some other DVRs allow that), the video would have to be encrypted specifically for the DVR, and the hard drive may need to have a special partition and/or formatting for the DVR


 

This is somewhat true.  USB 2.0 should be fast enough -- the HD streams on U-Verse are ~6 Mbps, which USB 2.0 should more than handle.

 

The encryption/etc. wouldn't be any different from that used by the internal hard drive.

Message 8 of 56 (43,477 Views)

Re: External Hard Drive


cheer wrote:

 


mikedamirault wrote:
Most DVRs I have seen that supports external hard drives have eSATA ports on them, and being that the U-verse DVR doesn't have an eSATA port, it would either need to be a USB hard drive (I think USB is too slow to support real time video, so the internal hard drive would need to buffer it before being sent to the external drive) or a network hard drive, and the DVR would have to be directed to the hard drive (by inputting an IP or MAC address on the DVR)

 

On top of that, to keep the recorded video from being copied to a PC (and probably to a DVD-R, even though some other DVRs allow that), the video would have to be encrypted specifically for the DVR, and the hard drive may need to have a special partition and/or formatting for the DVR


 

This is somewhat true.  USB 2.0 should be fast enough -- the HD streams on U-Verse are ~6 Mbps, which USB 2.0 should more than handle.

 

The encryption/etc. wouldn't be any different from that used by the internal hard drive.


"This is somewhat true.  USB 2.0 should be fast enough -- the HD streams on U-Verse are ~6 Mbps, which USB 2.0 should more than handle."

 

That may be, I am used to using firewire for video, so I usually trust firewire more than USB when it comes to real time video transfer, USB 2.0 may be fast enough though

 

"The encryption/etc. wouldn't be any different from that used by the internal hard drive."

 

Right, my point to it was that if you decided to share the external hard drive with your computer (either network or USB), the format that the DVR would use would probably not be FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS, which are the only formats supported by Windows, and it may not use HFS+, supported by Mac OS, so if you choose to use it with a computer as well, it should be partitioned, also, for those that think they could use it to back up their shows, the fact that it uses a different format or encryption would stop them from doing that

 

It's probably not something that at&t thinks is worth their effort to implement such a feature

Message 9 of 56 (43,477 Views)
Expert

Re: External Hard Drive

I believe the file system written by the Sigma Designs 8634 chip (used in the STBs) is FAT32 and can be read by ordinary PCs.

 

However, the data that is saved in the files on the hard drive is encrypted by the Sigma chip.

 

The USB ports on the STB are USB 2.0 and can easily be used to read/write from a storage device, but the Windows CE Mediaroom implementation in its current form has no USB driver stack, so it will not currently recognize any devices plugged into the USB ports.

 

Message 10 of 56 (43,477 Views)

Re: External Hard Drive


SomeJoe7777 wrote:

I believe the file system written by the Sigma Designs 8634 chip (used in the STBs) is FAT32 and can be read by ordinary PCs.

 

However, the data that is saved in the files on the hard drive is encrypted by the Sigma chip.

 

The USB ports on the STB are USB 2.0 and can easily be used to read/write from a storage device, but the Windows CE Mediaroom implementation in its current form has no USB driver stack, so it will not currently recognize any devices plugged into the USB ports.

 


"I believe the file system written by the Sigma Designs 8634 chip (used in the STBs) is FAT32 and can be read by ordinary PCs."

 

It may be FAT32, I was just saying that it is unknown (at least to me), and their are proprietary hard drive formats made especially for certain devices, so it was a possibility, and if somebody wanted to also use the hard drive on a PC, it could be unusable, of course if it is FAT32, then like you said, it would be compatible with PCs

 

"However, the data that is saved in the files on the hard drive is encrypted by the Sigma chip."

 

Right, the question is how it's encrypted, I think I heard something somewhere about the files on the DVR's hard drive aren't based on the recordings themselves but on clusters of files filling the entire drive/partition, that together result in the recording on the DVR and unused storage, given I have never tried connecting the DVR's hard drive to a PC, I have not seen anying firsthand, so I am not really sure how the DVR records or encrypts shows

 

"The USB ports on the STB are USB 2.0 and can easily be used to read/write from a storage device, but the Windows CE Mediaroom implementation in its current form has no USB driver stack, so it will not currently recognize any devices plugged into the USB ports."

 

Exactly, that was basically what I was saying, was that the USB ports do work (hardware wise), it's just that they are limited/blocked by software (by not having the proper driver stacks like you said), in which case, a simple update could make them usable, but at&t chooses not to make them usable

Message 11 of 56 (42,200 Views)
Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive

Interesting factoid:  We live in Texas (and have U-Verse) but have a summer home in the Toronto area, where we have BellTV's satellite service.  Their DVR system allows the user to add an external drive!  They're quite specific on what to buy: On first pass, they told me Western Digital 500 Gb.

Here's a more detailed response:

I understand that you would like to know if you can use USB-powered hard drive on your receiver. Please be informed that generic external hard drives that meet the following specifications can be used on Bell receiver: - 7200 RPM rotation speed - Between 40GB and 1.0TB of capacity (1.5 TB for 9241/9242) - Holds a single hard drive (enclosures holding 2 disks not supported) - Plugs into AC power outlet - USB 2.0 connection - No sleep mode (cannot power down when idle) NOTE: 3.5" devices are more likely to meet the specifications than 2.5" EHDs, which are designed more for portable use 
This info is not readily available on the website, and the general info I found didn't restrict the customer from using a USB-powered drive. We'll bring an appropriate HD with us when we come back up next year.
OK, U-Verse, your turn.
Message 12 of 56 (42,200 Views)
Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive

Any update on this?  Has anyone used a Western Digital DVR expander with USB on the uverse set top box?

Message 13 of 56 (42,201 Views)
Master

Re: External Hard Drive


fuel52 wrote:

Any update on this?  Has anyone used a Western Digital DVR expander with USB on the uverse set top box?


        NO !!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message 14 of 56 (42,202 Views)
Guru

Re: External Hard Drive

 


fuel52 wrote:

Any update on this?  Has anyone used a Western Digital DVR expander with USB on the uverse set top box?


Won't work.  The USB ports are not enabled (though they will provide power).

 

Message 15 of 56 (42,203 Views)
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